State University of New York, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Buffalo, New York

Project Info
State University of New York, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Buffalo, New York
Completion Date: 2011
Square Footage: 135,000
LEED Gold Certified

Business First “Brick by Brick” award for Best Educational Project, 2012
Buffalo Business First

Oustanding Design - Specialized Facilities, 2012
The Architectural Portfolio

Davis Hall, the new 135,000 square foot (12,540 square meter) building for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences combines the departments of electrical engineering and computer science in a single facility, creating a hybrid functional typology that encourages a collaborative environment among disciplines. Rather than supporting conventional departmental divisions, the building is organized into ‘technical’ and ‘non-technical’ spaces based on infrastructural requirements. The building emphasizes the ‘public’ expression of informal, interactive spaces to reflect this interdisciplinary approach. It features a glass-enclosed, multi-story gallery which acts as a science commons that includes open staircases allowing for spontaneous student and staff interaction. There are also windows into the laboratories for passersby to observe technological research within. Throughout the building, cross-disciplinary zones are distributed for informal gathering spaces equipped with SMART Boards. 

A modular planning infrastructure permits a high degree of flexibility for a variety of research protocols and allows both labs and teaching spaces to adapt easily as needs evolve.The research programs within the building includes electrical engineering's multi-directional ultraviolet (UV) lithography, Photonics and Biophotonics, and a Center on Hybrid Nanodevices and Systems within a suite of class 2, 3 and 4 laser laboratories. The Computer Science research program includes Advanced Wireless Communications, Digital and Multimedia Technology, Biosensors/Bioelectronics, Cyber and Network Security, Advanced Network Technologies and SAR High Performance Computing.

The building thrusts out dramatically to the north to announce a new presence at the edge of the campus, setting a precedent for future development there. Simultaneously, a self-shading glass atrium wall cants forward to the south toward a new quadrangle, and an intimate courtyard is defined to the east that can be used for school and student functions.  The design of the building resolves both the desire for a distinctive new identity for the School while unifying and revitalizing the existing engineering complex.